2015 Yosemite Backpacking Adventure

The Flickr app will not play the entire video (at least on my iPadand iphone) I suggest watching on the Flickr website instead flic.kr/p/2iTrhnR Music in this Video listed in order of when you hear it: Earth - Mirage Mark Orton - Guitar Twenty Eight Daniel Bachman - Other Shore Reprise Jeremy Soule - Under an Ancient Sun We started at a trailhead on Glacier Point Road in Yosemite, 7000ft, we then hiked 6.2 miles to Ostrander Lake, 8500ft, where we spent the first night. The next morning we did a cross country hike up and over Horse Ridge, 9500ft. That was my favorite part of the hike. It was basically boulder hopping from one car sized rock to the other. The view from the top was spectacular. After hiking down the far side of the ridge we emerged on a trail just slightly west of small narrow lake, 8600ft. We then hiked east and up another climb to a trail junction, 9000ft, after that it was just .3 mile to Buena Vista Lake, 9000ft, over all we hiked about 5 miles that day. After a night at Buena Vista we continued on to Royal Arch Lake, 8700ft. We continued on through swarms of mosquitoes to Johnson Lake, 8300ft, then to Crescent Lake. That section of trail the mosquitoes were so bad we could not stop moving otherwise we would have lost most of our blood to the them. We could see and hear the clouds of the mosquitoes over the lakes and in the meadows, and around us the clouds where 3 times thicker. We were going to spend that night at Crescent Lake but because the mosquitoes were so bad we consulted the map as quickly as possible and decided to continue on to what looked like an area of exposed granite on top of a ridge line, 8400ft, overlooking Grouse Lake, 8200ft, where we hoped because of the exposure there wouldn't be as many mosquitoes. When we got to the exposed ridge there was not a single mosquito. Sweet relief ! We ate a lunch of spam and crackers and decided to spend the night there. I found wild onions there, they were delicious, so much better then the spam. In all we hiked about 6 miles that day. We needed to pump water after lunch so me and 3 others from the group gathered up the water bottles and started the walk downhill to Grouse Lake, which we soon realized was not on the trail, after coming across 2 people hiking the other way who were also looking for the lake. We found a creek that flowed the direction of the lake and I suggested we just pump there, but the others were on a mission to find that lake, so we followed the creek downhill through mosquito infested marshland to the lake. There was no shade so it was hot, humid, and full of those little blood suckers. Once I pumped my portion of the water I decided to head back to camp. I got back to camp and removed my shoes and socks and took a nap. A few hours later the rest of the water pumping group returned and told us they got turned around on their way back and they climbed the wrong ridge on the opposite side of the lake, it wasn't until they got to the top that they realize their mistake. The next day we were going to hike 5 miles to Turner Meadows, 7500ft, but we were not sure of the mosquito situation there and they decided, upon reaching the meadows, to continue the last 5 miles back to the trailhead (by the way, there weren't any mosquitoes at the meadows, the rest of the group just wanted to get out a day early.) In all we hiked 10 miles that last day. Overall it was a great backpacking trip, I slowed my pace down for the last 2 miles because I didn't want it to end. The next day the group went home and I still had another week. I did a solo 2 day hike to May Lake where I photographed a thunderstorm over upper Yosemite valley. Then I spent 3 days on the eastern side of the Sierras. I spent a day on Benton Crossing at Hilltop Hot Springs where I photographed 5 different thunderstorms. The next day I spent in Bishop and watched the sunset from Pine Creek. That night I photographed 4 more thunderstorms. I spent that night at Keogh Hot Springs, where I watched the sunrise from the natural hot creek that is not part of the resort. From there I headed home, stopping at Fossil Falls and Red Rock Canyon State Park. .

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